Eowyn Garfinkle Plymesser joined the Mayerson JCC almost a year ago. Since then, she has overseen major Arts, Ideas & Jewish Life events at the JCC like Under One Roof and the Jewish & Israeli Film Festival. We took a moment to sit down with her and learn more about her role here at the J!
Tell us a little bit about your role and what you do at the J.
I have the pleasure of serving as the Manager of Arts & Culture here at the Mayerson JCC. I work on a variety of programs, large and small, that serve a wide array of people. I get to connect with folks within our community and outside of it to showcase the various aspects of art and culture that influence our lives. Art and culture exist within the intersections of our many identities, and I love getting to explore those crossroads in my role at the J.
Can you tell us more about the programs you run and how they are important to the community?
Our Arts, Ideas & Jewish Life programming creates spaces for people to learn, engage, and explore. We host a wide variety of programs, and we try our best to have something for everyone.
If you’re interested in literature, check out our Jewish Book Series. Our annual Jewish & Israeli Film Festival is the perfect opportunity to see a movie and spend time with your community. We also have events that focus on music, visual arts, and Jewish thought, to further our exploration into Jewish identity. These programs are important to the community as they allow for a deeper understanding of the intersections of Jewish arts and culture and give people a space to express themselves or learn something new. Jewish representation is so important, and our programs allow for us to show the broader Cincinnati community how beautiful and expansive our culture is, in addition to creating a space for expression and education within our community.
What has it been like running events that are huge staples in the community, such as Under One Roof and the Jewish & Israeli Film Festival?
Our JCC has so many beloved Arts, Ideas & Jewish Life programs and events, so it has been a big responsibility to continue bringing these programs to our community. I get to do something so incredibly cool, and I almost always learn something new every day.
Taking the lead on my first Under One Roof Sukkah Art Exhibit was a large project with many elements, and being able to execute my first exhibit in our community sukkah this year was such an awesome experience. I was so excited to be able to try something new by doing a night of pressed flower art in the sukkah, in addition to the other Under One Roof programs we hosted.
The Film Festival is such a staple in our community, so I do feel the weight of responsibility that comes with running such an intricate and loved string of events. The Mayerson JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Festival runs for an entire month, so you can imagine the numerous moving parts that we have to navigate to run this program. I have really enjoyed getting to work on the festival, and I love getting to see all of the pieces come into place. I’m so excited for our 2024 JIFF! I’m thankful to be able to work with our awesome JIFF Committee to help take on this endeavor.
I also feel incredibly fortunate to have an amazing supervisor and mentor in Frannie Kahan, Director of Cultural Arts & Engagement, who led these programs for many years before I joined the team. With support from Frannie and the rest of the team here at the J, I feel incredibly empowered to be able to put on these events.
What excites you most about coming to work each day?
The best part about coming to work are the people I get to interact with, throughout the J and in our office. I began working here in February 2023, and I feel like I have already made such strong connections with our J community, and I am lucky to be able to call my colleagues my friends. Getting to work within the Jewish community is such a privilege, and although I have always wanted to do so, I didn’t think that my first job would check that box. Seeing our community’s kindness, resilience, and compassion keeps me hopeful and makes me eager to come to work and continue to do my best to serve my community.
Anything else you would like to add?
I graduated from the University of Louisville in 2022 with a BA in Communication, a minor in Jewish Studies, and a certificate in Peace, Justice & Conflict Transformation. I’m grateful to be able to utilize what I learned to influence the work I do at the J.
Thank you to anyone who took the time to read this! Be kind to yourself and those around you.